Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Heynen, Owner of OneUp Components, located in Squamish, BC, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

OneUp Components is a passionate team of riders dedicated to bringing genuine value to mountain bikers around the world. We design, engineer, ride and ship the products we want on our bikes from Squamish, BC, Canada.

Our customers are riders of all abilities and experience in all categories around the world. From first-time riders to world-champion racers and everything in between. XC, Trail, Enduro, DH, DJ, Gravel, and Commuters.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a lifelong Mountain Biker who grew up with a dream to work in the industry that aligned with my passion. I pursued my engineering degree and worked for a decade designing components for an international brand. Along with my co-founders, we eventually wanted to break out on our own and focus on designing high-level products only in a small town close to the trails. We wanted to further align our passions by designing only products that we wanted on our bicycles and living next to the trails. We kicked the commute and moved to a small town in the mountains to ensure we could work less and ride more.

Do you have daily rituals for work / wellness / fitness / mindfulness?

As far as rituals, I have been trying to read each morning something that is meditative to challenge my thoughts on self, relationships, and organizations. I make an effort to do some physical exercise almost every day, especially with a focus on getting my heart rate up. We have a lunch ride policy at work where we encourage all employees to try and get out for a ride at least once or twice a week during the work day. This helps build community when people ride together; it adds fun and fitness to the day. It also helps break up the day, preventing the usual afternoon slump that is all too common when engaged in computer work.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating a profitable business from scratch that has been able to stay true to our mission while competing on an international stage against established brands successfully with a very small team.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing is turning it off at the end of the day. There is always more you can do, and it is easy to work too much and allow your work to take up all of your mental energy.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find good partners and share the load. Having three of us at the beginning start the company allowed us to divide tasks and responsibilities as well as work through ideas together. There are so many tasks in setting up a company it was great to be able to play to our strengths and work on things separately or, in some cases, together. Having three founders also enabled us to make decisions democratically and break a tie between competing viewpoints.
  2. Do as much as you can yourself to learn your business and, ideally, save money. If you outsource everything from the start, it will cost you a lot of money, and you will have less understanding of how things work together. Push beyond your comfort zone and learn to do as much as you can. Once you have a good grasp of how to do things and what you want, then bring others in to take over those tasks and make them even better.
  3. Find some mentors or other business owners you can share with that are doing what you want and learn from them. You certainly don't need to reinvent the wheel and can shortcut your research by learning from others what works or doesn't. Having others to bounce ideas off of is invaluable and can often reveal blind spots. Also, seeing how others have tackled the same problems can help prevent you from following the same mistakes.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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